Sending Written Work

Candidates for some subjects are required to submit written work as part of the application process. We will provide full information and guidance about how to send it to us after you have applied to us. Please don't worry in the meantime. The deadline for submitting written work in 2023 is 2nd November. Please upload your written work on the additional document form. We will provide a link to this form to all applicants after the 16th October. Please follow the size, format and naming conventions outlined in the form. We may otherwise not be able to connect your work to your application. 

Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic

Once candidates have applied through UCAS they are required to submit two recent essays written for school or college work and marked by a teacher. We provide information on how to submit written work to all applicants. 

Archaeology

Students are required to submit one piece of written work. Written work should be in essay format (not science coursework or timed exam) with a word limit of up to 1500 words (can be an extract from an EPQ).

Architecture

Applicants for Architecture will not be asked to submit written work but are required to submit a portfolio and bring this to their interviews. We do not formally ‘mark’ or assess the portfolio but in judging your suitability for the course we will be interested to see the terms in which you discuss your work. The choice of material included in your portfolio is up to you; successful candidates have brought paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and constructions of all kinds, particularly material that conveys a spatial and three dimensional interest. We would not, however, expect to see designs for buildings – that is what you are coming to Cambridge to learn!

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Applicants for AMES do not need to submit any written work as part of their application.

If you are applying for a European language alongside your Asian & Middle Eastern language, please check the MML written work requirements and submit written work according to those. 

Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology

Applicants for Chemical Engineering do not need to submit any written work as part of their application.

Classics

After you apply you are required you to send two marked essays (both 3 and 4 year applicants) so that we can see how you think on paper. At least one should be in essay format. We will provide information on how to submit this to all applicants. 

Computer Science

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application.

Design

While applicants for Design are not required to submit written work, they will be asked to submit a portfolio (pdf, 6 x A4 pages) of work once the UCAS deadline has passed. These portfolios should be reflective of the portfolio you are able to discuss at your interview. We do not formally ‘mark’ or assess the portfolio but in judging your suitability for the course we will be interested to see the terms in which you discuss your work. The choice of material included in your portfolio is up to you; successful candidates have brought paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and constructions of all kinds, particularly material that conveys a spatial and three dimensional interest. 

Economics

Applicants are not expected to submit any written work as part of their application

Engineering

Applicants are not expected to submit any written work as part of their application.

English

Once English candidates have applied through UCAS, they are required to submit two recent essays or equivalent pieces of school work on a subject of literary interest. We will provide information on how to submit this to all applicants. 

Geography

Applicants are not expected to submit any written work as part of their application. 

History

Once History candidates have applied through UCAS, they are required to submit two recent History essays. These are to be essays completed as part of your A-Level or equivalent studies in History (please don't send work from other subjects) and they must contain your teacher's comments or marks. We will provide information on how to submit this to all applicants. 

History and Modern Languages

Once History and Modern Language candidates have applied through UCAS, they are required to submit: two writing samples. If you are applying for a post A-level language, one of these should be in the language you intend to study. We will provide information on how to submit this to all applicants. 

History and Politics

Once History and Politics candidates have applied through UCAS, they are required to submit two essays, including at least one essay on History. If you are taking History at school, your History essay should be completed as part of your A-Level or equivalent History course and they must contain your teacher's comments or marks.We will provide information on how to submit this to all applicants. 

History of Art

No written work required for applicants of History of Art

Human, Social and Political Sciences

Once HSPS candidates have applied through UCAS, they are required to submit two recent essays or equivalent pieces of school work. We will provide information on how to submit this to all applicants. 

Law

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Linguistics

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Mathematics

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Medicine

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Modern and Medieval Languages

After applying through UCAS, MML candidates are required to submit two recent examples of writing (an essay, for example) completed for school, one of which should be in one of the languages you intend to study at university. The pieces must be dated school work which have been marked by a teacher. 

Music

Following your UCAS application you are required to submit a harmony or counterpoint exercise, and / or an original composition; and an historical or analytical essay - preferably on music, but another subject is acceptable. We will provide information on how to submit this to all applicants. 

Natural Sciences

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Philosophy

There is no written work required for philosophy.

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.

Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion

After you apply you are required to submit two marked essays so that we can see how you think on paper. We will provide information on how to submit this to all applicants. 

Which Essay(s) Should I Select?

Unless the subject matter is specified for your subject, any piece of work written for the subjects you study / studied at school or college will be fine, even if the work is not linked to the subject that you propose to study at Cambridge. In general, we would like to see work that best reflects your interests and abilities. We are deliberately flexible about the exact content so that you are free to select pieces that you would like us to read. You can submit work that is also being examined officially as coursework if you want to.

It is best to submit recent work; however, the essays you submit do not have to have been written in your final year at school. Essays written last academic year would be fine if you have not yet produced anything suitable this year. We do not expect gap-year students to produce new work - if you are on a gap year, please send essays from your final year at school.

We prefer essays to be marked by a member of your school staff. If submitting marked work is not possible for any reason, please add a brief explanatory note on the coversheet. School work must be original work, not re-written or corrected for Cambridge.

Unless specified in the information for your subject, essays may be either handwritten or typed. We prefer you to submit your work exactly as you produced it at school or college. Accordingly, please do not worry about such details as formatting or whether or not you included a bibliography.

Any essays you send should be pieces of work that you would feel happy to discuss in an interview. Your interviewers then decide whether or not to ask you about your written work.

There is no word limit. As a guide, and unless otherwise specified in your subject paragraph, most candidates submit essays that are between 1,000 and 3,000 words long. When selecting work, please note that we are looking for quality rather than quantity. If you submit work that is longer than 3,000 words, we are happy to receive it but do not guarantee that the interviewers will read all of it.

All essays must be written in English, unless we have requested them to be written in a foreign language that you are applying to study at Cambridge. It is best to submit work that was originally written in English, however we are happy to accept translations (either official translations or a translation by you) if you want to submit work originally written in another language. We are aware of differences in syllabus and methodology in different countries so you will not be disadvantaged if your essays are not written in the same style as those we receive from UK applicants.

If, for any reason, you are unable to submit any written work, it is in your interest to write to us before the deadline and to explain your circumstances.
 


 

Preparing Your Written Work

Each piece of written work MUST be accompanied by a signed coversheet - available at the bottom of this page. If you are at school or able to be in contact with your previous school, a member of your school staff must certify the pieces you submit as your own work on the coversheet.

Please write on the coversheet any information about the context in which you wrote each essay which may be useful for the person reading it. For example, how long you were given to do it (1 hour / 3 days / 3 weeks etc.), whether or not you were allowed to use a dictionary (say, in the case of foreign language essays) or other resources. Anything else that you feel needs explaining about the work that you are sending can be explained in a note on the coversheet.

Please ensure that you keep a copy of your written work for your own reference.

Please number the pages and ensure that you have scanned them in the right order. 

How to prepare your written work for submission:

1. Save and fill in a separate cover sheet for each piece of work you plan to submit. (You can find the coversheet below.)

2. Create a single PDF that has your cover sheet as the first page, then your written work. 

3. Make sure you create a separate PDF for each piece of work you plan to submit.

4. Check the size of your files and reduce them if you need to. Files need to be up to 100MB or 15MB if you’re submitting an Architecture portfolio.

5. Name your PDF file following this format: Lastname_Firstname_UCAS ID_WrittenWork1. For example, Wilkinson_Joe_0123456789_WrittenWork1

 

How to create PDF files

If you need help creating your PDF file, instructions can be found on the internet. We've included some useful examples below (please note these sources are external to the University):

How to create a PDF file in Windows 10 (via How-to Geek)

How to scan to PDF on an Android phone (via Android Police)

How to create a PDF on a Mac (via How-to Geek)

How to scan to PDF on an iPhone or iPad (via Macworld)

Sending your written work 2023

We are asking for written work to be submitted digitally via an online form. We will provide a link to this form in an email to all applicants after 16th October. 

We are unable to provide technical help with combining and compressing pdfs, please ask a parent/guardian/teacher/friend for help or use the links above.  We only accept written work after the UCAS deadline 16th October 2023 and via our online upload form. If you send us written work before that deadline, we may ask you to send it again once the UCAS deadline has passed. 

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Thinking of applying to King's? See here for a breakdown of the process, from submitting your UCAS application to receiving your offer.
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